The city of Oxford is nestled in the green countryside of north-central Mississippi, about 70 miles south of Memphis, Tenn. and 25 miles east of the culturally rich Mississippi Delta. Oxford was given its name after Oxford, England, in hopes of establishing the first university in Mississippi, what is now the University of Mississippi. It is home to a dynamic community of artists, musicians and literary figures, namely the Nobel Prize winning author, William Faulkner, and contains approximately 19,000 residents outside of the university.
Travel & Leisure magazine named Oxford one of the “top 10 coolest college towns in America”, and if you visit, it’s easy to see why. The historic town square is the hub of the city, boasting urban amenities and small town charm to make it the perfect combination of quaint and cultured. Its eateries rival any around, offering ethnic and gourmet flavors and three amazing restaurants owned by James Beard award-winning chef, John Currence.
And whether you’re into literary art, music, theatre or dance, Oxford has something for you. William Faulkner’s Rowan Oak as well as numerous literary conferences and programs (think Oxford Conference for the Book and Thacker Mountain Radio show) have literary buffs flocking to visit each year. Square Books, Oxford’s independently owned bookstore, has been described by New Yorker magazine as being as good or better than any in New York City, and Oxford has been home at one time or another to literary greats Willie Morris, John Grisham, Larry Brown and Richard Ford.
If live music is what you’re searching for, you’ll find it nearly every night on and off the Square. The Lyric, named a top 100 music venue by Pollster magazine, brings in some of the best musical acts around. The day-long Double Decker Arts Festival also attracts regional artists and national musical talent each spring to the Oxford Square.